NewsMarkets

Ethereum Slumps 5% as Merge Surge Falters

After reclaiming the $2,000 level last week amid mounting anticipation for its upcoming Merge event, Ethereum has slipped over the past 24 hours.

2 min read
Ethereum is the second-largest crypto asset by market cap. Image: Shutterstock

Ethereum (ETH) has slipped by 5% in the last 24 hours, and is currently trading at around $1,900, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The latest price action comes just 48 hours after Ethereum, the industry’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, topped $2,000 for the first time since May.

ETH managed to stay close to that mark over the weekend, hitting $2,022 on Sunday, before today’s sharp price decline.

Despite a significant drop over the last 24 hours, Ethereum is still up over 7% in the past week, making it the best-performing coin of the week among the ten largest cryptocurrencies over that time span.

One month left to the Merge

Ethereum gained traction over the past few weeks in anticipation of the Merge event that will see the network move from its current energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Last week, the network’s third testnet, Goerli, successfully shifted to PoS, prompting a 14% surge in the token's price. It also meant that the final dress rehearsal before the Ethereum’s network shift from PoW is now complete, and the Merge is entering the final stretch of preparatory work.

The upgrade, which is expected to go live in about a month’s time, will address the Ethereum network’s scalability issues, while also lowering the transaction costs.

Originally, it was expected that the Merge event would take place around September 19, however, a new tentative date of September 15 was later revealed, with developers setting the terminal total difficulty (TDD)—the exact moment when the network will produce its first PoS block—last week.

“The terminal total difficulty has been set to 58750000000000000000000. This means the ethereum PoW network now has a (roughly) fixed number of hashes left to mine,” Ethereum-co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted last Friday.

He added that bordel.wtf, a website that was set to track the timeframe for the approaching Merge, predicts the transition will happen around September 15, although the exact date may vary as it depends on the network’s hashrate.

Elsewhere in the market, Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, hit the $25,000 mark on Sunday—a level last seen in mid-June—however, it too has slipped over the past day, and is currently down 2.4%, trading at around $24,100 at the time of writing.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.